She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

Exprayeriment #17 -- Praying The Hours: Lauds

This is God's day.  A good day.  
I pronounce this day and all of its activities good!

-Catherine Ponder

The word "Lauds" means praise, and this week we celebrate sunrises, new beginnings, awakenings and possibilities.  Whether you consider yourself a "morning person" or not, Lauds is an invitation to greet the new day with gratitude, reverence and wonder.  

If, like many people, you hit the ground running in the morning, your mind filled with plans and to-do's as you race around getting kids ready for school and/or yourself ready for work, this week's Exprayeriment offers a way to slow down and ease into the day with attention and intention.  Even a few minutes can make a big difference.

Last week you went to sleep with the Matins/Vigils prayer.  This week we're waking up with e.e. cummings.  "i thank You God for most this amazing" is one of our favorite praise poems and it sets the stage perfectly for waking up, in the morning and all day long, to God at work in your life.

When was the last time you memorized a poem?  Well, next week (we hope) the answer will be "last week."  :-)  It may be a bit more difficult than when you were in school, but it's great exercise for the brain and, in this case, even better for the heart.  Our suggestion is to work with one stanza every day.  Say it out loud.  Write it down.  Build on what you memorized the day before.

It doesn't matter if, at the end of the week, you have it completely committed to memory.  What matters is the attention you give it and how you give the words permission to work on you.  If you go around all week saying only, "I thank You God for most this amazing day," that is perfect.  

Slow down, take your time, and just have some fun with it!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any -- lifted from the no
of all nothing -- human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

I Choose the Narrow Gate

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